Saturday, February 15, 2020

Free Frank McWorter, New Philadelphia, Illinois

African American Patriots: Unsung Heroes (2014) by Wishum Gregory
Unsung heroes
February is National Black History Month. While most people do not think about this, this history has a lot of meaning to all, black and white. Each of the people below changed the lives of black slaves and their descendants for all.

Many can or should recall Martin Luther King, jr and his world changing moral stance on past and current saga of African Americans.  

Many can or should remember Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who created "The underground railroad".  A movie "Harriet" presented history of this incredible woman.

Tuskegee Airmen from World War 2? History on these brave pilots should be researched by all who find interest in fighter pilots. 

Dorie Miller, a cook on a destroyer in the Pearl Harbor attack, manned an anti-aircraft gun and defended his ship. Then he tended to the injured.  He was the first Black American awarded the Navy Cross. He died in action in 1943.  

We did not and will not get to meet these heroes. But in my home area, another hero made changes in lives.  Free Frank McWorter, a freed black slave, created a town called New Philadelphia, in Pike County, Illinois. I have driven by this monument to him many times over my years at home.


YouTube, about 5 minutes long  


YouTube about 50 seconds long


Only those people outside Pike County Illinois may not have heard of, or even thought about these men. All I can say is that Free Frank McWorter was a hero in every sense of the word. Those from Pike County, Illinois, know and recognize him as important to all around him.

This changed Pike County and its view of slavery.


38 comments:

  1. Yes, those who create positive change are always heroes!

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    1. Those people are just people trying to make a living, and just by the small changes here and there, history is changed.

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  2. I came to a love of history late (and blame the schools who taught history as dates, rulers and battles). Focussing on the people who changed lives (for good and for bad) has led me to a deep appreciation - and a study which will never end.

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  3. Monuments serve as a good reminder of the contributions and sacrifices made by ordinary people with the inner strength to become heroes.

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    1. I have learned to stop at a monument at the side of a road and see why it is there.

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  4. First I've heard of Miller. Despite the catastrophic loss of the ship he was, the battle was an American victory.

    Apparently he will have a ship named after him in a few years.

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  5. I've heard of all but the last. True heroes indeed, making a change for the better always is, no matter the skin color.

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  6. Thank you. This was so interesting.

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  7. Very touching and true entry. Slavery will always be a black-eye to this country especially our South. Not everyone contributed or took part but we all have been angered and suffered for it.
    Sherry & jack

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    1. History paints a picture of people who made change. One needs to read that picture.

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  8. PS: I love the collage. Reminds me of many shipmates!

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  9. My son (who attends where I teach) and my students are all working on research projects for Black History Month, our bulletin boards, in every grade throughout the school are celebrating these men and women, and our classrooms are bustling with short stories about some of them who are unknown heroes. I couldn't be prouder.

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  10. I saw quite a piece on Dorie Miller. He was quiet the hero. I am so happy that we are finally learning about the black heroes who have formed our nation. Wish it had been available when I was in school.

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    1. When I grew up, black history was not admired or admitted.

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  11. Our Country could use some more heroes like that!

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  12. We should honor everyone who has worked tto leave this world a better place.

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    1. The military who defend our country need to be honored and appreciated for their courage.

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  13. I do like learning about people I haven't heard of before.

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    1. I had lived in that area my entire life and knew nothing at all about him.

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  14. The only one I recall knowing anything about was Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad.

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    1. Harriet Tubman! She was a fighter for freedom as well. People need to know about her. Thanks for sharing herr.

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  15. I've research the Tuskegee Airmen and they not only have/had impressive records, they were even more elite (in my estimation) than many white fighter pilots of that era. The standards required of these men would have washed many whites out of the training. SO glad you shared these many brave heros we don't give enough consideration to.

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    1. Like the Wind Talkers (Navajo military who translated English into Navajo to send info to the troops), the Tuskegee Airmen were among the greatest heroes of the war. They were unrecognized as such.

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  16. these are some interesting unfamiliar facts you shred dear Susan!
    wishing you more love and happiness in days ahead!

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  17. I knew about all these people except McWorter. My husband was Creole, and he didn't know about all of these people. Right now, I'm reading a biography of Frederick Douglass.I'm reading it because I realized that he had done so much and I knew so little about his life. Than you for this important post.

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    1. Good reading choice. Douglas was a voice of his time.

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  18. Frederick Douglass was a great orator and fighter for releasing the slaves. Not many people know about him. Thank you for putting his name up.

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  19. Great story! The best reparations is to live as though you were never a slave. Works for this, works for salvation.

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